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This article is about the Mega Drive/SNES game known as Pocket Monster. For games with a similar title, see Pocket Monster (disambiguation).

Pocket Monster is an unlicensed platformer based off the Pokémon series for the Mega Drive and SNES. The SNES version is credited to DVS Electronic Co., while the Mega Drive iteration seems to be developed by ex-workers from Chuanpu and published by X Boy.

Overview[]

Pocket Monster (Mega Drive) - Gameplay

Pocket Monster's gameplay from the Mega Drive version

Like the Famicom pirate, the player controls Pikachu through numerous side-scrolling levels with a boss at the end of each. Pikachu can jump on enemies and uses a special move which clears all of the enemies on the screen, although the latter can only be done when the charge meter is full (SNES) or if the player has collected at least twenty points of energy (Mega Drive). The player can change how many lives and continues they can have, and there's a difficulty setting in the options menu that will affect how much health Pikachu loses when he is hit by an enemy. A sequel to this game was made for the Mega Drive called Pocket Monster II, while a similar game, Pokémon Gold Silver, was made for the SNES.

The backgrounds and foregrounds appear to be taken from numerous Mega Drive games, including Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure, Mr. Nutz, QuackShot Starring Donald Duck, Magical Taruruuto-kun (of which was, coincidentally, developed by Game Freak, the company behind Pokémon itself) and Monster World IV, although the graphics from the latter aren't present in the SNES version and instead uses ones taken from Skyblazer instead. The graphics in some parts of the game such as the intro, title, stage start and ending screens are based off of screen captures from the Pokémon anime.

Although some of the enemies encountered are Pokémon such as Beedrill, Porygon, and Diglett, the other "Pokémon" are taken from Magical Taruruuto-kun, Syd of Valis (notably the lizard enemy seen in the first level), and Super Metroid with different palettes.

Stages[]

Below is a list of stages in the game. The last two differ in both versions.

Stage 1: In the Forest[]

This level is a typical forest stage that involves Pikachu jumping between trees to reach different places. The background from this level is from Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure while the foreground graphics are from Magical Taruruuto-kun. The Mega Drive version adds Pinsir as a mini-boss (the level design is slightly different to accomodate this inclusion) that must be defeated in order to progress through the level, where Pikachu will come across a cave and find the boss of the level, Snorlax.

Stage 2: It's Hot[]

A lava-themed stage that takes the foreground graphics and layout from Mr. Nutz's Volcano Underpass 2 level and the background from Darius II, although the boss arena takes place on a different map using the same graphics. The boss of this level is a turtle-like monster that resembles one of the enemies from Magical Taruruuto-kun.

Stage 3: Jump Around[]

This level takes place in a factory full of floating platforms, using the foreground graphics and level design from the Pete's Hideout level in QuackShot Starring Donald Duck, and the background of the factory stages in Donkey Kong Country. The boss of this level is the mid-boss of the second stage in Syd of Valis, who can jump on the platforms in the SNES version.

Stage 4: Underground[]

Despite its name, the level doesn't take place in an underground area; the SNES version uses the graphics of Petrolith Castle from Skyblazer, while the Mega Drive version uses the background and foreground graphics from Monster World IV, from the forest area beyond Estafan Village. The Mega Drive's level is shorter and less difficult when compared to the SNES's level, although it has spikes that can kill Pikachu in an instant, similar to Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Regardless of the different level designs, the boss in both versions of this level is Gengar.

Stage 5: Hard Rock[]

The final stage in the game, and another stage that is different in both versions; the SNES version uses the graphics and most of the level design from the Faltine's Woods level in Skyblazer, while the Mega Drive version uses the graphics and some level design from the first area of Great Duck Treasure Island from QuackShot. The boss arena in this level is the same for both versions, although the bosses are different; in the Mega Drive version, you fight Onix while the SNES version has you fight palette-swapped versions of the previous bosses with AI differences. Upon beating the boss of this stage, you're rewarded with an ending featuring an image of some Pikachus.

Differences between Mega Drive and SNES versions[]

The Mega Drive version has its difficulty set to Normal by default and doesn't credit the company which made it, while the SNES version is set to Easy and claims to have been made/published by DVS Electronic Co. (although it's likely that it may have still had involvement with the ex-Chuanpu members.) The music is completely different in both games - the Mega Drive version uses the Data East sound engine from High Seas Havoc (Capt'n Havoc) with a mix of original music and some taken from Shui Hu Feng Yun Zhuan, Hercules 2, Dragon Ball: Final Bout and Gunfight 3 in 1. while the SNES version has music and sound effects lifted from Bonkers.

The Mega Drive version uses sounds from various different sources - of which are DAC samples much like the other Mega Drive bootlegs that use the Data East sound engine - such as Sylvester and Tweety in Cagey Capers, Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit), Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong-Quest and the Mega Drive/Genesis versions of Disney's Aladdin and The Lion King. The Pikachu voice clip, likely either taken from Pokémon Snap or a recording from the Pokémon anime itself, isn't present in the SNES version, but is replaced with a "Yow!" sound clip from Bonkers when Pikachu is hit by an enemy or a hazard. Strangely, in the Mega Drive version, Pikachu constantly says his name on the title screen while he's mute in the SNES version, despite his mouth still moving.

Other notable differences[]

  • There are numerous minor graphical differences between the two versions; the bosses for stages 2 and 3, along with Gengar, are larger in size in the Mega Drive version when compared to the SNES one.
  • The monkey enemy from the first stage doesn't appear to throw any apples in the SNES version despite having one in its hand. This was fixed in the Mega Drive version.
  • The bosses in the SNES version follow a set movement pattern compared to the Mega Drive's bosses.
  • There is a message in the SNES version when you beat the game. It reads: "CONGRATULATIONS !! YOU HAVE COMPLETED THIS GAME. THANK YOU TO PLAY IT, AND SEE YOU AGAIN !!" [sic]. The Mega Drive version doesn't have this message and instead the background scrolls.
  • In the Mega Drive version, Pikachu can jump mid-air while moving upward after bouncing off an enemy. This is also present in Pocket Monster II, possibly due to using the same engine.
  • The Mega Drive version shows the number of the stage you are on, where as the SNES version just says "NEXT". Additionally, the banner for the stage's name is blue in the SNES version while it is green in the Mega Drive version.
  • In the SNES version, the stage often begins with the camera panning down from the top of the stage (sometimes showing parts of the level where certain chunks and/or tiles cut off) before it shows Pikachu falling down and landing. This doesn't happen in the Mega Drive version as he is placed near the ground, but still starts in mid-air, similar to that of Somari.
  • Aside from the difficulty being set by default in both versions, the SNES version has restrictions with the amount of lives and continues you have according to the chosen difficulty. The Mega Drive version removes this.

Music[]

The SNES version takes all its music and sound effects from Bonkers. Additionally, all track names are unofficial.

Name Description Audio
Starring... Plays during the intro sequence. [1]
Fabulous Mansion Used on the title screen and "Jump Around". [2]
Extra! Extra! Used on the level start screen. [3]
Battle with the Bandits Used on "In the Forest" and "Underground". [4]
Lightning Sky Used on "It's Hot" and "Hard Rock". [5]
Sewer Hideout Used for boss fights. [6]
Comedy Club Continue Used on the continue and ending screens. [7]

Trivia[]

Pocket Monster (SNES) - Anti-piracy

The anti-piracy check from the SNES version

  • Oddly enough, there is an anti-piracy check in the SNES version of the game. If the game detects it is a pirate copy or is running in an inaccurate emulator, the animation of Ash scrolling upward in the intro will loop endlessly. This anti-piracy check doesn't exist in the Mega Drive version.[1]
  • The box of the SNES version from DVS Electronic uses the same image of Pikachu and the smaller "Pocket Monster" logo also found on the Pocket Monster Go! Go! variation of Monster Go! Go! Go!!.
Pocket Monster (Mega Drive + SNES) - Enemy Comparison

Comparison of the same enemy sprite between Pocket Monster (left) and its source, Syd of Valis (right).

  • The PCB of the SNES version reads D1B9809, suggesting it was released first in September 1998 while the Mega Drive version was released later.
  • The box art of the Mega Drive version features a picture of Pikachu taken from the cover of a N64-exclusive title Hey You, Pikachu! as well as several logos such as "New Game" and "2000" (suggesting the Mega Drive's version was likely released in that year,) all covering the cover art of another N64 exclusive, Pokémon Stadium 2, as well as the original Nintendo and N64 logos. One half of the game's logo also comes from Hey You, Pikachu!, making its' title half-Chinese and half-Japanese; in its' entirety, it reads as 皮卡丘 げんきでちゅう (Píkǎqiū Gen Ki De Chu).
  • The Mega Drive version seems to use two variations of the fifth stage theme from Shui Hu: Feng Yun Zhuan. One of them is used as the boss theme which sounds similar to the one heard in MK5: Mortal Combat Sub Zero but with different tempo and drum line, while another is used for the final level that sounds closer to the original version of the song, albeit with one of the instruments changed.

Gallery[]

Videos[]

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